My journey so far can be fairly summed up as follow:
born (obviously) ... handed a certain set of beliefs from my parents (christian religion, more specifically of the baptist kind) ... coming of age freedom to explore my own truths (a mix of pretty severe legalism, hyper charismatic spirituality, house churches, hippie churches at higher altitude, dinner party churches, staying up late drinking too much wine churches, mixed with long stretches of resisting organized religion in any form) ... add all that in the mixer and shake the shit out of it and pour it over a few cubes of ice to end up in my present state (deconstruction)
More specifically, almost two years of personal therapy and gaining back my inherent sense of curiosity that got lost somewhere along the way. Not somewhere, but being stuck in the middle of my parents divorce at a young age and developing my own sense of safety by retreating inward. A self-sufficient person cannot last that long in a healthy marriage. It took me better part of 10 years to finally figure that shit out. I came to the end of my rope in my marriage where the road map ended and to continue on required crossing a threshold of unknowing. That scared the shit out of me. And not just scary movie scared or some bullshit, but the kind of fear that comes when you look at reality in a mirror. That fear that makes you choose to fight or get the hell out. And thankfully I'm pretty damn stubborn so no way in hell was I giving up on myself or my marriage.
Wow... All that and I still haven't got to what I actually thought I was gonna write about today. But it's all good, I have a way of taking my time to walk the long way around the edges of the circle before I dive in deep.
Meditation. Or, rather, the lack thereof in my education and culture growing up caused a lot more anxiety and judgements to be made. Side note: I'm the king of making snap judgements. Forgive me. Pressing on, I was never given a broader look and understanding of the world as a whole growing up. Eastern culture/philosophy was just not taught. Or if it was it was taught in a way that needed to be "saved" or "stayed away" from. As if Jesus wasn't Jewish enough or something? But fuck, come on, the whole notion that the West has won and we don't need anyone else to tell us how to think, act, feel is terrifying. And look where it has gotten us now. We elected the perfect mirror of how our country thinks, acts and feels about the rest of the world.
Meditation. My process began probably before I knew what to even call it. There's always existed an inclination inside me to sit and be quiet. But before, I didn't know how to let go if something was bothering me. And Christianity offered no real answers other than "just pray" or "lay it down" ... whatever that shit means. Basic self-denial bullshit that disconnects us further away from loving ourselves and taking responsibility for how we think, act and feel. And then I began to study and read and learn that my thoughts are not who I am. That sitting in quiet meditation for 5, 10, 20 minutes at a time allows me to look at myself with compassion and let the thoughts flow over, around and through me and not have to do anything about them. Nonjudgemental observation is a better name.
Meditate. Do it or not. One of the greatest things I carry with me now is the truth that to meditate is not to add just another thing on my to-do list for the day. But to meditate is to do something deeply personal when there's nothing else to do. And yet, I still don't feel like those words do it justice. Our language is so limited. And that's precisely the point. To meditate requires no language. When I am sitting, or a lot of times laying down, I can tune in to something more cosmic and universal stirring inside me. We all have eternity inside us. Moreover, some like to talk about it as a spiritual practice. Is that what this is? Maybe? But what isn't spiritual? I love what Rob Bell's whole mission is about, showing the connection to how everything is spiritual. And so I'm learning more what spirituality means to me as I sit in silence. Because I'm convinced it has to start with us at an individual level. Not as a task, or out of pressure, but out of a deep love for yourself and finding that time when you have nothing else to do.